Better World Books/NCFL Announce $30,000 in Awards for Libraries in Columbus, Providence, Salinas

Better World Books and the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) today announced that library programs in Columbus, Ohio; Providence, R.I., and Salinas, Calif., have won the annual Better World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award.

Each library program will receive a $10,000 award.

“These libraries provide a critical service for our communities and are passionate about the families they serve,” said John Ujda, vice president of marketing for Better World Books. “The grants will fund innovative programs that enable them to implement big ideas to promote family learning and help libraries spread the word about the important impact they have on families and communities.”

  • Columbus, Ohio
    Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Ready to Read Corps (R2R) will use the grant money to expand the reach of the program that teaches parents and caregivers the importance of kindergarten readiness and their role as their child’s first teacher.The grant will help fund the next step in the evolution of the Corps. It will enhance the services currently offered through expanding the R2R lessons and moving into a familiar setting — the family’s home. Lessons will be delivered to 200 families through a series of personalized in-home visits, and the parent/caregiver will receive a mini R2R toolkit of supporting materials and activities following each lesson.

  • Providence, R.I.
    The Providence Public Library’s Chace Children’s Discovery Library features hands-on activity centers focused on key elements of early childhood literacy development. The grant money will be used for critical outreach for the library to non-native English speakers by identifying, training and utilizing immigrant parents as guides for the hands-on activities. They also will recruit families to the library and support their ongoing use of the library. In addition, the trained guides will help develop an outreach plan to engage immigrant families, provide recruitment and outreach strategies for immigrant families, and serve as spokespeople for the library in their communities.

  • Salinas, Calif.
    The Salinas Public Library will create a new program that leverages the popularity of its mascot Snappy, the leopard tortoise. The new program will equip a family literacy mobile called the Snappymobile, which will provide services to 2,500 families a year. The Snappymobile will target socially and linguistically isolated families unfamiliar with the services of the library. Key activities for the van will include going to hospitals, pediatric clinics and housing projects; participating in special events; issuing “Snappy” library cards; conducting story time; and checking out materials including books and toys from the library’s Toy Lending Library.

“Libraries provide families with important access to reading and other learning activities,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, NCFL vice president. “This award continues to promote, reward and expand the innovative programming that is fundamental to success for our families and communities.”

Funding for the program comes from the Better World Books for Libraries program, a free service that helps libraries manage their unwanted books. Better World Books sells those books online, sharing the revenues with the libraries and its nonprofit literacy partners.

In addition to the $10,000 grant, award recipients received scholarships to attend the National Conference on Family Literacy, which concludes today in San Diego.

This is the third year of the award and the latest partnership effort between NCFL and Better World Books, which together have raised more than $838,000 for NCFL’s programming since 2005.

Hundreds of thousands of books have been donated and sold to support family literacy since the partnership began. Books come from college campus book drives, library discards and donations, and corporate book drives. These efforts have funded the purchase of more than 10,000 books to restock family libraries after Hurricane Katrina and the development of resources to reach wide audiences with literacy tools and materials.

You can get info on how to apply for next year’s Award here.